X-Message-Number: 24888
From: "Michael C Price" <>
References: <>
Subject: living forever: comparison of lifespans?
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 20:02:57 +0100

Hi John,
rather than try to compare the value of a finite lifespan with
an infinite lifespan, I prefer to think of them as different classes
of objects: one has an endpoint and the other doesn't, so it
doesn't really make much sense to compare them together.  It's
like trying to compare finite numbers with transfinites: there's
not much you can say about such comparisons, except that
every transfinite number is bigger than any finite number.

The situation becomes more complicated once we start
copying ourselves.  Instead of world-lines or life-lines we have
life-trees.  Some branches will terminate and some proliferate
endlessly; trying to compare their subjective value becomes
even more difficult and perhaps impossible.  Some branches 
may not care about what happens to other branches;
other branches may feel an affinity for the whole tree.

Michael C Price

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